Klopp wanted City defender if Van Dijk deal didn’t happen

Liverpool would have made a move for Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte if Virgil Van Dijk hadn’t signed.

That’s the news being reported by Paul Joyce of The Times, who says that manager Jurgen Klopp had identified the Frenchman as an alternative to the Holland international.

The German coach had been chasing Van Dijk for some time and it looked like his move to bring the former Celtic man to Anfield had bitten the dust when Southampton reported Liverpool for what they considered an illegal approach.

But Klopp finally got his man when a world record £75m deal was agreed over Christmas last year and the centre-back made his switch to Anfield in the new year.

Had that deal not happened, the former Borussia Dortmund manager was interested in making a bid to Athletic Bilbao in order to lure Laporte to the club instead.

Rivals Manchester City were also said to be keen on doing a deal with Southampton to sign Van Dijk, but he had his heart set on a move to Liverpool and so the Premier League champions signed Laporte instead.

Liverpool supporters will feel that the club signed the better player, albeit for a higher price tag.

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